Dem senator praises Ford opening the door to testifying

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyHouse Republican partisan riders could poison federal budget talks Lawmakers buy more time for spending deal Time to confirm more federal judges MORE (D-Vt.) on Thursday praised Christine Blasey Ford for opening the door to testifying next week on her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“I just heard she's offered to come, I think that is a good thing," Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Hill.TV.

Ford's lawyer said in an email to the Senate panel on Thursday that she would be open to testifying next week under "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.”

Republicans have pushed for Ford to appear for a hearing on Monday. Her lawyer told the committee that an appearance on Monday "is not possible," adding "the committee’s insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event.” 

Leahy pushed back on GOP efforts to speak with Ford as soon as possible, accusing Republicans of "trying to rush this through so fast." 

The Democratic senator pushed back when pressed on Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFocus on Yemen, not the Saudi crown prince Senators want assurances from attorney general pick on fate of Mueller probe Mattis: Investigation into killing of Khashoggi is ongoing MORE's (D-Calif.) decision to hold onto a letter from Ford for weeks before it was eventually reported in the press. 

“Come on, come on,” Leahy said.

“We've never had a time when it's been rushed like this and they know it, these are the same people that held up an Obama nominee for over a year – for one who would have won easily, Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandDebate over term limits for Supreme Court gains new life Roberts’ rebuke of Trump rings hollow, given justices’ conduct Heads up, GOP: Elections have consequences MORE ... the double standard comes back to the same question – what are they trying to hide?” he said. 

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of pinning her down and trying to remove her clothes during a party in the 1980s when both were in high school. Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegations. 


–– Molly Hooper